Addicted to Womad

KATE SAUNDERS
Last updated 10:46 13/03/2012
tdn diana
ANDY JACKSON
Oakura's Diana Lawrence, 70, is a self- confessed Womad addict

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She's got all the compilation CDs, has attended every Womad festival in New Plymouth and never books a holiday in March.

Oakura's Diana Lawrence, 70, is a self- confessed Womad addict and this year will be no exception.

"I'm looking forward to the first hour, when you go in thinking about what's coming up for the weekend. It's the expectation of it," she says.

Lawrence has been going to Womad New Zealand since it was first held at Taranaki's TSB Bowl of Brooklands in 2003. It had been held twice in Auckland before that.

"It was Fat Freddy's Drop I remember at that first one. It was completely different from anything I'd ever been to," she said.

So what makes the festival so special?

"It's the music, it's the whole feeling of Womad. It's being able to wander around and get up close or sit on the top of a hill and listen to different music and see different people."

Last year's festival was especially special as Lawrence recalls a stirring performance from Trinidad and Tobago singer Calypso Rose.

She went to the same primary school in Trinidad as Lawrence's late husband.

"That was special for me and my grandkids, she was awesome."

After travelling often and living in Spain, Womad gives Lawrence a chance to taste a bit of the world again.

"My kids laugh, I don't go to watch the Kiwi bands, I go for the African ones, all the different ones."

This weekend she will be found running from one stage to another, catching as many acts as she can.

She may also have a couple of grandchildren in tow.

She does have one warning though: the Monday after the festival can be a bit of a write-off.

"It's a long weekend. By the Monday I'm knackered."

Even so, she promises to be one of the last music-lovers standing on Sunday night.

"Every year it gets harder to stay right to the end, let's face it. But I'll try."

DIANA'S TOP WOMAD TIPS:

1) Plan ahead for what bands you want to see.

2) Buy the Womad compilation CD to see what you're in for.

3) Take something comfortable to sit on.

4) Drink plenty of water and bring some snacks to complement the fabulous food.

5) Go to the full three days and enjoy!

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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